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tv   Life Stories  BBC News  April 16, 2017 2:30pm-3:01pm BST

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a potential for a line of the west. a potential for a line of rain that was sleet and snow moving southwards across scotland, down into north—east england. mostly rain by this stage, maybe sleet and snow gci’oss by this stage, maybe sleet and snow across the highest ground. elsewhere, scattered showers, a bit of sunshine, but temperatures really dropping away to the north, just 7 degrees in aberdeen. through tomorrow night the weather front will clear off to the southeast and monday night into tuesday there could be a shock to the system, out in the countryside temperatures well below freezing with a touch of frost. it is because high pressure will be drifting its way right gci’oss will be drifting its way right across the british isles by this stage, still a fairly clean us keen breeze. to the south coast there could be some showers. —— the south—east coast. a fairly cool day ifa south—east coast. a fairly cool day if a largely dry one. another cold night choose day night into wednesday. with that some sunny
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spells by day. hello, this is bbc news. the headlines: the us vice—president mike pence has reaffirmed america's vow to defend south korea, hours after the north carried out an abortive missile test this morning's provocation from the north is just the latest reminder of the risks each one of you face every day in defence of the freedom of the people of south korea and the defence of america. people in turkey are voting in a referendum which could lead to radical changes to the country's constitution. theresa may urges unity over brexit, as she delivers her first easter message as prime minister. 68 children are among the dead in syria after a bomb attack on a convoy of buses carrying evacuees from besieged towns. now on bbc news, life stories.
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welcome to my great grandmother's 117th birthday. right now she's taking pictures with people who have come to see her and celebrate this big day with her. there's more than 90 years difference between me and her. she's 117 and i'm just 23. i'm returning to my ancestral home in kenya to celebrate the remarkable birthday of one of the oldest people in the world. my great grandmother, elizabeth. i'm here to discover the secrets of her long life as she throws a party and reunites five generations of my family. this is where i was born.
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it's about ten miles from nairobi, the capital of kenya. this fertile [and has been home to my family for at least six generations. today there are hundreds of us, like me, spread around the world. i'm returning from my home in london, to visit a woman very close to my heart, who has never left kenya but has cultivated a global family. we're just heading up to my great grandma's house. the road is quite bumpy.
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it's like a makeshift road. this is a shrine where most of my family are buried, my great granddad, my grad dad, his children and five wives. my great grandma is the fifth wife out of six. we're heading up to my great grandma's home. she lives by the side of where my great granddad used to live. i'm really excited to see her. there she is. hi! hello. how are you? i'm fine. good to see you. it's a long time.
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long time, many years. this is my great grandmother, elizabeth. she's going to be 117. this is my great aunt, irene. she's here to help me with the translation because i can understand everything my great grandmother tells me, but to speak the language is really difficult. great grandma elizabeth has lived on this last for 90 years. on this land for 90 years. she grew up tending cattle on her father's farm. then she moved here as a young bride and raised seven children. she built this house with profits from the farm. my great—grandmother is proud of her government identity card. it doesn't show the exact month or day that she was born. but it does have the year
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of birth as 1900. the tribal tradition of age groups gives the same name to all children born in the same year. my great grandmother belongs to this age group which means we know she was born some time between 1899 and 1900. do you remember when you got married? do you remember your wedding day?
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force 7 so... she was brought by force. she was married by force because she was too young. at that time she didn't want to get married to an old person, because she was the fifth wife. great grandmother elizabeth was the fifth of six wives of the senior chief. he worked with the british during colonial rule and is well known in kenya for playing a part in the country's independence.
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was it difficult for you to be the fifth wife? leonard is elizabeth's sixth child and he's my great—uncle. he lives next door to my great grandmother. he was a child during the 19505, when his father was detained during the mau mau uprising, that was a revolt against european land.
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archive: they were being checked and all members of the same tribe who have suffered most under the mau mau. a state of emergency was declared, but though it led to the end of british rule, it was a tough time for my great grandparents. and for my uncle leonard. in 1952, my father was taken into detention. kenya had been declared emergency and he was detained for the next seven years, he was in detention. we used to be children of a chief. we became beggars. we were being helped by those people who we would have called poor. during now the mau mau it was not only affecting our family.
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it affected other families. one of my auntie, who had i think there were nine children, my mother took them. already she had taken two other children who belonged to our sister, who had died. my mother's sister. we were, my mother was raising about 20 children. wow. yeah. we had a lot of — it was chaotic, you know? like we are fighting for food. this shrine is the resting place of my great grandfather. he lies alongside his five wives and there's a space reserved for my great grandmother elizabeth. as theirs was a polygamist marriage,
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visiting the shrine puts into perspective how large the chief's family really was. my great grandfather is resting here. but his legacy is living on in hundreds of descendants. what do you think about polygamy today? would you advise me to go down that route? you wouldn't like me to? no? you were the last one
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to practice polygamy, does that mean that our family will now be smaller and smaller and how do you feel about that? so you wouldn't want me to just have one or two kids, you want me to have five, six... regardless of how many children i may have in the future, there's no doubt that the family is growing. my great grandmother gave
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birth to seven children. there are tens of grandchildren. my father was one of them. i'm his second child of three, making me one of many, many great grandchildren to elizabeth. who's in this picture? is that you? that picture there, i think it's
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you and there's kids around you. i can see that photographs play a big part in my great grandmother's life. to celebrate her birthday, she's throwing a party.
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we're going to attempt something very special. a family photograph, a living family tree. with five generations of my family and my great grandmother at the centre. but with so many people involved, it could take a while. the first of january is a big day for my great grandmother, elizabeth koinange. she's invited family and friends to celebrate her 117th birthday. we've travelled from far and wide and for me, it's a chance to reunite with my kenyan family. so the family, your children, your children's children, we're all spread out across the world. like me, i'm in london. do you like that we're all over the world now?
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have you always celebrated on january 1, since you can remember? right now everyone's preparing the food.
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there's going to be loads of meat, vegetables. so now i think it's time for me to get changed, as all the guests are slowly arriving. i'm going to wear something that's a bit more comfortable. by throwing this party, my great grandmother is continuing the tradition started by her late husband, of gathering friends and family together on the first day of the year. so right now, the party's in full swing. most people have eaten. there's still some people getting served over here.
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we still have some late arrivals coming in, as you can expect. we have my great—uncle right now giving a speech and saying once everyone's eaten, all the family get together and take a group picture of ourfamily tree. next time for the guest of honour to take the microphone. next it is time for the guest of honour to take the microphone. time for cake, and one of elizabeth's granddaughters does the honours. happy birthday... to you. happy birthday. applause great grandma puts her longevity down to a diet
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of boiled yam and milky tea. but for today she's happy to indulge. everyone has been given some cake. the first people to be given some cake was everyone named after my great granddad. so what my auntie said is all the koinanges come and get some cake. she's really happy. i think she's had a lot of cake. hopefully when i'm older than 100 years old, i will be fed cake by all the people who come after me. yeah, it's a beautiful thing. i'm quitejealous, to be honest. we're just going to wait... this cake is good. we're going to wait for my great
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grandmother to go to where we're taking a family picture. 0nce she's sat down we will start moving towards that area. organising so many people is a tough task. everybody‘s keen to catch up. while great grandmother patiently waits, it's a chance to meet relatives i didn't know i had. do you know how we're related? i belong to the grandmother older than her. this is my cousin... cousin? his son is your dad? yeah. hi. thank you very much. i'm your aunt. yeah. people are so excited to see each other that they're socialising and they're slowly, slowly, slowly moving towards this way. hopefully we get the picture by the end of the day.
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first to join our living family true, great grandmother elizabeth, surrounded by her six surviving children, who have a combined age of more than 400. next to join, my aunts and uncles. now the third generation has been called. so that means the people who call my great grandmother great grandmother, so i'm part of them and i'm going tojoin them. my mother has been holding this party for about 20 years. she enjoys it. she would like to do it every quarter of a year. she's happy to see her family coming together. she has become like the pillar for the family unit. applause. many of us enjoy tracing our family tree.
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but for most families, gathering so many generations together like this isn't possible. it's no surprise that people have travelled from far and wide because great grandmother elizabeth's enthusiasm for life is infectious. i finally got my selfie. hers is a life well lived. a life focussed on providing her descendants with advantages that she didn't get to enjoy. faith, love and food are the fundamentals of my great grandmother's life. although she rarely leaves her small house, the world comes to her through her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, like me. one of the things which i like about her, and i think this is god given, is her memory.
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because she doesn't get old. if you come here and you talk, say hello to her and you talk to her, next time you come, she remember you very well. she can't forget. bye. bye — bye. improvements in medicine mean we can all expect a longer life. but it's how you live it that really matters. and for this, my great grandmother elizabeth is my inspiration. prospect of getting out and about
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this and they depend on where you are across the country. for some places it is fairly pleasant. this was the scene in greenwich. the cloud has been thickening up further north and west. rain on the windows in cumbria earlier today. an area of cloud and some rain has been working eastwards and southwards through today. the far north—east has stayed largely dry with some sunshine. if you are out for a late afternoon stroll, for plymouth, taunton, the channel islands, should stay finally drive. a different story in nottingham, norwich, sheffield, in
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leeds and hull temperatures just seven 01’ leeds and hull temperatures just seven or eight. thing is clearing up in wales. northern ireland and southern scotland. northern scotland sticking out into sunshine. through the evening we will lose the rain from the south—east. places will turn just about right, a few showers. quite a lot of cloud but some breaks that will allow mr to form and it will get cold enough for frost in places. monday starts like this. high pressure to the west. low— pressure this. high pressure to the west. low—pressure to the east, a fairly cold northerly wind. the day shapes up cold northerly wind. the day shapes up with a lot of dry weather and some sunshine developing. some rain, sleet, hill is no, works its way southwards. temperatures struggling in the north. this weather front
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continue southwards through tomorrow evening. as it clears, the sky is clear as well, and it will be a noticeably colder night, particularly out in the countryside. temperature is widely dropping below freezing. , temperature is widely dropping below freezing., quite a hard frost in places. a bit of a shock, if you are back to work early on tuesday. there will be a fair breeze, quite chilly, a few showers, on tuesday. a cold and frosty night again on tuesday. that is a big feature of the week ahead but there will be some sunny spells by day. the headlines at three. the us vice president mike pence has
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reaffirmed the american commitment to defend south korea after the failed north korean missile test. this morning's provocation from the north is just the latest reminder of the risks each one of you face every day in the defence of the freedom of the people of south korea and the defence of america. voting in turkey has just ended as people decide whether to change the country from a parliamentary to a presidential republic. in the next hour... theresa may urges unity over brexit, as she delivers her first easter
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